Slice of Life/ SmallPoems Day 4 (election edition)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Four

The first face I meet
greets me warmly,
a neighbor as a host of
an Election Day gathering

I’m led to the volunteers
at tables, situated at seats,
rolls of residents on paper,
fingers along city streets

Two sheets — national and
local —and a black marker for
coloring the oval, dark
please, I’m reminded,
shaded beneath

then its a play in reverse,
the machine opens its mouth
to feed on my forms,
and we’re biding goodbyes,
voting complete

Peace (in the booth and beyond),
Kevin

Slice of Life/ SmallPoems Day 3 (reading time)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Three

Figures prone, as if
exhibits in a museum,
a gathering of stories
and words in hand

with not a breath of voice;
each mind’s alive
with what’s unfolding
inside the bound texts

If you could listen,
the inner working
might reveal cacophony,
a multitude

but here, in the classroom,
through this window,
it’s a comfortable quiet,
a sustained silence

Peace (books have it),
Kevin

Upon Request: A Found Poem for CLMOOC

poetryport submission requestsAs the last days of February’s Poetry Port project for CLMOOC were winding down, I saw my friend Greg sharing a poem in which he echoed his own daily poems throughout the month. That inspired me to go into the spreadsheet where people were requesting poems from CLMOOC poets and work on a found poem of phrases and words and ideas from their submissions.

You can read the found poem here. But I also turned it into a video …

Peace (flowing through),
Kevin

 

Slice of Life/ SmallPoems Day 2 (dog sounds)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Two

The dog breathes
in then out, and
out then in, his
slumber, deep

as my wife
reminds me,
so often do I,
a conductor
waving a baton

in rhythmic sleep

Peace (good dog music),
Kevin

Slice of Life/ SmallPoems Day 1 (snowflake)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day One

I’m looking
as she’s reaching,
fingertips for the solitary
snowflake,

a floating apparition
in the early
Springtime sun,

but then it’s gone
before we even notice
what it is
we were watching
when we were watching
this

a trace of hope;
a lover’s kiss

Peace (and poems),
Kevin

CLMOOC: A Month of Poems

All month, I’ve been writing poems each morning to a theme via CLMOOC’s Poetry Port — a project designed to spread collaboration and support through various networks. Along with the daily writing, a number of us were writing poems for others — sometimes as unexpected gifts and sometimes for the recipient’s request. The Thinglink above is my curation of my own poems, some via audio and some via text.

Today, the last day, the daily poem theme was not Farewell, but instead, Welcome.

My poem:

Every Exit
infers an Enter

it all depends
upon your frame
of mind

Welcome, then,
to the poem’s
end

Peace (pass it along),
Kevin

 

DigiDetox Comics 10: Design Aesthetics

Digital Aesthetics

Kevin’s Note: I signed up for a month-long Digital Detox project out of Middlebury College and enjoyed the email updates throughout January that got us thinking about our digital lives, and offered small steps and actions to take. I made comics about the concepts as a way to read deeper and think a little more critically about the ways digital devices and platforms are part of our lives. This is the last comic I made for that project.

Peace (out),
Kevin

DigiDetox Comics 9: Terms of Service

Terms of ServiceKevin’s Note: I signed up for a month-long Digital Detox project out of Middlebury College and enjoyed the email updates throughout January that got us thinking about our digital lives, and offered small steps and actions to take. I made comics about the concepts as a way to read deeper and think a little more critically about the ways digital devices and platforms are part of our lives.

Peace (read it carefully),
Kevin

Picture Book Review: Let The Children March

One of the many topics that come up when I read Christopher Paul Curtis’ novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 is the role of young people in the civil rights movement. Although the novel never references the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, the movie adaptation does, through the memory of some cousins of the Watson children, and so we spend time discussing how young people took the streets in protest, were attacked by police with fire canons and dogs, and were sent to jail by the hundreds.

Let The Children March, a picture book by author Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrator Frank Morrison is a powerful text companion to those discussions. With brilliant visuals and an engaging story (plus, a valuable timeline of 1963 in Alabama during the Civil Rights era), the book brings to the surface the courage of the kids who took to the streets, the wariness and worry of the parents who allowed the march (code-named D Day and Double D Day) to happen, and the movement leaders who accepted that children being arrested would create tension for the Kennedy White House to finally act against segregation.

The picture book centers on a narrator voice of a child who takes part in the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, but it more of a universal voice, advocating for change against unjust rules and putting the self in danger to force confrontation against a police force that was part of the problem, not the solution.

I appreciate how Let The Children March gives those young marchers a voice, and also, explores the results of the march (which the scenes in the Watsons movie does not do because of the time frame). President Kennedy did get involved after getting pressure from the country and the world. Birmingham did end official segregation (if not racial violence, as the bombing of the church that forms the center of the Watsons novel shows. Change happened, even if the results of those actions are still something we continue to reckon with as a country.

Peace (for all),
Kevin

Slice of Life: Embroidery as an Act of Resistance

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I was wandering our small city’s downtown, a little bit bored and sort of wasting the hour. This is often when our attention to the small things of the world is at its finest — when we are not consumed by other tasks. I noticed the window of a public art gallery, and wandered in. I had time.

The latest art show in the gallery is called Tiny Pricks, and it features embroidery of President Trump’s craziest quotes, with art as the lens of protest. It’s both amazingly insightful and sadly alarming (the things Trump says). Along with the art on display, the gallery has hosted sessions for more embroidery for visitors. At a table, all of the materials were laid out, at rest, as if the embroidery team had just suddenly gone off on coffee break and would be back soon.

TinyPricksCollage

If I knew how to embroider with needle and thread and cloth, I might have sat down and continued their work. Instead, I kept making my way through the hanging wall displays. There must have been at least a 100 or more embroidered works of art.

I wandered in the gallery for some time, just staring at the embroidery and appreciating how art is a way for us to express our political views, and then wondering if projects like this will translate into votes in November. I eavesdropped in on other patrons, who seemed to be asking some of the same questions.

I left after a bit, still thinking about the artwork for hours later, which I suppose is a sign of the power of the embroidery, of the artists, to help us see the world — political, or otherwise —  in a new way and to wonder about other paths forward.

Peace (and resistance),
Kevin